We're all getting in the Christmas spirit here at Sacla', so we asked our friend Aldo Zilli to tell us about Christmas as a child growing up in Abruzzo, Italy.
"As a boy in Abruzzo, we would always have Fritto Misto before Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. This would be a selection of fish and vegetables deep fried in a tempura-like batter which is very traditional in Italy – especially if you live near the coast as we did. My father reared pigs when I was young, so Christmas Day would be everything pork! BBQ pork chops and porchetta - the stuffing for the porchetta was similar to one I would use today for turkey with lots of sausage and fennel.
These days Christmas in the Zilli household is a cross continent affair with influences from my Italian background and my wife’s British traditions. So we’ll have the turkey, which was picked out in November, with my homemade stuffing and a mix of British and Italian side dishes.
I look after dessert, so I always make a very traditional Neapolitan dish Struffoli. These are marble sized fritters with a crunchy coating and a light, fluffy inside. You simply fry the dough balls in vegetable oil, which will rise to the surface when ready. Then coat with honey and orange rind. Serve in a pyramid and sprinkle with a handful of hundreds and thousands for a celebratory look!"
Add an Italian flair to your Christmas Dinner with our delicious recipes by clicking the images below.
Pesto Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Chicken with Truffle Pesto